Nokia X6 review

Will Nokia's much-hyped new music phone live up to expectations?

Nokia X6 review
The Nokia X6 is the latest Symbian-based music phone

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nokia x6

Anyone who's used a Nokia phone in the last few years will know what to expect from Symbian S60 5th Edition.

Being touchscreen only and (thankfully) stylus-free, all the on-screen buttons are sensibly-sized for fingertips, and the screen itself is excellent.

With its 3.5-inch diagonal, you could be forgiven for thinking it's bigger than the iPhone's 3.2-inch screen, but the reality is that the different aspect ratio - 16:9 to the iPhone's 1.5:1 - means you actually get more real estate on Apple's phone or the HTC Hero, with which the iPhone shares screen size and resolution.


However, the Nokia X6 is higher resolution than either, with its 640 x 360 display. Presumably with its tongue in its cheek, Nokia describes the display as HD, but you shouldn't be fooled into thinking you can shoehorn an actual HD video onto it.

Accurate screen

The screen may not be huge, but it's certainly bright. Photos and videos look great on the glossy screen, and the sensor works well, adjusting the screen's brightness depending on your surroundings.

It's also highly accurate when it comes to fingertip commands, although it seems a shame that Nokia hasn't fully used the capacitive screen - pinch to zoom, such a natural-feeling gesture on other phones - is absent.

To zoom you need to double tap the screen. The X6 also gives a little buzz of haptic feedback every time you touch the screen, which helps indicate you've tapped successfully if you can't see the button behind your finger.


With the screen the primary way of making the X6 do things, there are only a few other buttons. Dial and hang-up buttons bookend the main menu button, while the right-hand edge hosts a volume control, shutter release, and a sliding switch that locks and unlocks the phone.

There's an almost unnoticeable extra touch-sensitive button in the top right of the screen, which when tapped produces a small menu giving you quick access to your photos, music, videos and the internet.

The interface isn't without its quirks, though. For instance, some menu selections are made with a single press of the finger. Others require a press of the finger to highlight an option, and a second tap to activate it. This inconsistency means it can be difficult to tell when the X6 is working on launching an application, or silently waiting for you to confirm a choice.


And you'll see it working to launch an application a lot. We encountered numerous performance problems with our review unit.

After syncing a calendar, contact and message set with it, launching contacts from the front page took an age, while other applications often launched impressively fast. It's another inconsistency that can make the X6 frustrating to use. The 434MHz processor should be able to keep up.

Nokia's Ovi store is included, and allows you to install applications and games, although we remain underwhelmed by the breadth of the store's offerings. More usefully the service offers calendar and email utilities for those who don't have them.

Dave is a professional photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the Guardian. Along the way he’s been commissioned to shoot zoo animals, luxury tech, the occasional car, countless headshots and the Northern Lights. As a videographer he’s filmed gorillas, talking heads, corporate events and the occasional penguin. He loves a good gadget but his favourite bit of kit (at the moment) is a Canon EOS T80 35mm film camera he picked up on eBay for £18.